A MALTON care home is set to close this autumn under proposals put forward by North Yorkshire Council.

The authority has put forward plans to close Ashfield care home on Old Malton Road and offer residents a place at its other Ryedale facility - 5, Whitby Road in Pickering.

A report to the Council's Executive, which meets next Tuesday, said there were significant health and safety issues linked to the property condition of Ashfield which severely limit the ability of the service to meet need for residential care in Malton.

The report said: "The property requires significant investment to support the continued delivery of social care services from the site. Whilst the service is currently home to 12 residents, it is difficult to justify the level of ongoing expenditure that is required to keep Ashfield Malton operational and the building’s design, fabric and layout present significant challenges to any large-scale refurbishment, meaning it would not be possible to achieve an appropriate environment for future models of care."

"All residents will be offered a move to 5 Whitby Road in Pickering, where appropriate to meet their ongoing care needs. All local Extra Care Housing schemes are currently fully occupied. However should the proposals set out in this paper be agreed by Executive, and following consultation with the residents of Ashfield Malton, should any wish to apply for Deansfield Court then, as any flats became empty, people can be prioritised for allocation."

However Cllr Lindsay Burr, deputy mayor of Malton, who represents the town on North Yorkshire Council, said the news was devastating.

Cllr Burr said: "This is outrageous and unacceptable. We were kept in the dark during an election period, when plans behind closed doors were being hatched.

"The provision has been starved of money for years from the North Yorkshire run council, and led to the targeted decline of new residents accessing Ashfield care facilities in Malton.

"The Tory administration need to be held to account.2

Cllr Burr added: "Why has there been no investment in the facilities, and furthermore, no strategic planning for better facilities in Malton for the future?

Care needs increasing, not decreasing!

Why wasn’t Ryedale residents money earmarked for a new provision in our area? The long serving staff are heart broken, while residents will be faced with horrendous worry and uncertainty at this very vulnerable stage of their lives."

"The fight for better care facilities has to start now."

North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for health and adult services, Cllr Michael Harrison, said:

“We provide and fund care services across North Yorkshire. Over the past 20 years, we have maintained council-run care homes and invested in Extra Care housing schemes.

“We are now aiming to develop the next generation of Extra Care housing in areas like Malton and refurbish some of our remaining directly-run care homes where possible. But before this happens, we are looking to change our services in the Malton and Pickering areas.

“Ashfield care home in Malton is an old building which is unsustainable in the long-term due to rising maintenance costs and the need to adapt it to provide, for example, care for people with more advanced dementia.

“Therefore, we are proposing to upgrade our care home at 5, Whitby Road in Pickering to offer a better environment for anyone wishing to move from Ashfield following updated social care assessments for individual needs.

“Long-term our intention is still to provide a new Extra Care housing scheme in the Malton area and to invest in care services across the county. However, immediate action is required due to the condition of the building at Ashfield.

“We recognise the impact of these proposals and will work closely with Ashfield’s residents, their families and our staff, if these plans go ahead.”